A Montessori Homeschool

Once again I have been thinking! 🙂 This time I have been thinking alot about homeschooling. I have been preparing my plan for the 2011-2012 year and getting things together, and I started to think about being a Montessori family. Many people, including me, start Montessori at home with the thought that we can make a school for our kids. However, I am thinking that this is not really possible. As a homeschooled child I know that homeschooling is totally different then going to school. We may learn the same things, but no matter what you do it is always different then going to a classroom. Yet as a parent doing Montessori with my kids I expect to have the same envriorment that a teacher would have in a Montessori classroom. I think I may be crazy! 🙂 I think that this is a really good reality check for me as we head into a new year. My method of handling things has to be a little different since it is just my two kids. Bunny will need to learn everything from me, so there will be less independent work from her as she is learning a new skill and I will have play the games with her that she would have otherwise played with another child in a classroom. She will need more help from me to do research since she has no one else to work with. This means that I will be giving her far more one on one then a normal teacher in a Montessori classroom would think appropriate. Pup can learn from Bunny, but she is much father ahead in her work, so it will be a while till she can do what Bunny is doing. It also means that she will try new things sooner then she is ready for sometimes. This means my challenges are different then a teacher in a school, not harder or easier, just different.
Another challenge that I think is different for me is the discipline issue. I love the peace table. I think that it is such a great way for children to talk to their peers and work issues out in a loving way. I want to do it here, but it just hasn’t worked yet. Pup cant talk things out yet, and most the time when I help them work things out, its whenever they are in the house! We just never walked into the other room to use the space. So I thought about how it worked in a classroom and I realized that they are all in a one room area (for the most part). They aren’t going up or down stairs or into other parts of the house. They are all together. Then I thought about the screaming that sometimes happens here and I wondered what does a teacher do in that situation. ThenI thought about how Bunny would be in a school, and I realized she wouldn’t scream in a place with other people. She would be on her best behavior. Most kids are in school. I think alot of parents hear that their kids are wonderful in school, such kind people and good students. But the parents are unsure of where this kids is when they get home. There are many times when Bunny comes home from somewhere and is tired, grumpy, and this make her sassy and unkind. Not that she is bad, just that she is tired and at home. Home is a safe place, a place where a person (or kid) can be in a bad mood and still be loved and safe. I think that many kids are like this. I have been, as you all know, working on the best way to teach my kids respect. I have desiced to use timeout when the girls are misbehaving or when they need time to calm down. I know that this is not what is considered “Montessori”, but this is where that difference between a home and a school come in. Here at home my kids are always in their own space, they are always home. They are safe here and know that if they act up I will still love them, they have their own things here and they want to be sure that their sibling doesn’t take it, they are here with me 24-7 and I am sure that they get tired of me! My challenges are different, so my response must be too.
Sooo….I guess my point of the novel is that as a homeschooling family, I have to realize that I will not have the same experience as a teacher because I am their mom. I need to adjust my thinking and plan accordingly. I am sure that all of you moms out there who are homeschool have all come to this realization as well. I know that I can use most all of the Montessori Method, but some of it may need to be adjusted to fit us. This is a big thing for me because I love the method and want to keep things as true to Maria’s work as possible. I think though that this will help me. Thinking thing out will really allow me to know what will be the best for our family this school year!  Please know that these are just my thoughts and may not be true for everyone.

How has your homeschool plan changed as time has gone on?